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The Lockerbie Trial in The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service archives


Posted by Marivel Guzman from
The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service Archives.
Special Note: I would like to make the link to this Special Report but for some reason the antivirus service keeps blocking the URL where the Special report was published, so I copied and pasted in its entirely the Trial Special Report written by Darrell Pace.


Scottish investigative journalist Ian Ferguson in an interview published in an Egyptian newspaper said that he believes that the running of the secret drug line operated between the Middle East and Europe in 1988 could be linked to the disaster.

The Lockerbie Trial in The MaltaMedia Daily Online News Service archives

Al Megrahi starts serving life sentence written by Darrell Pace – 15 Mar, 2002

Libyan Abdel Basset Al Megrahi on Friday woke up for the first time at the Scottish maximum security prison of Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow at the start of his life imprisonment sentence after Scottish judges turned down his appeal.

Megrahi was flown there by helicopter on Thursday evening, hours after Lord Justice General Lord Cullen said that the appeals judges had concluded that none of the grounds of appeal presented by the convicted Lockerbie bomber were well-founded.

“The appeal will accordingly be refused. This brings proceedings to an end.” he concluded.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Megrahi’s imprisonment will be monitored closely by the United Nations. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said his office would now enter into “appropriate arrangements” agreed previously with British authorities to monitor the conditions of the imprisonment.

A spokesperson for Annan said that the Secretary General hoped that with Thursday’s court decision, the time had come when suffering families of the victims “can at last close this tragic chapter in their lives.”

Libya criticised the ruling. The Foreign Ministry compared al Megrahi to a “Jesus Christ of modern times.”

“The verdict confirms once again that the United States and Britain have imposed their sway on the court to enforce a political verdict,” a statement read.

The Libyan government went on to say that Libya wanted compensation for losses inflicted on Libyans by U.N. sanctions, imposed to force it to hand over Megrahi and another suspect in the Lockerbie attack.

The United States, in turn, urged Libya to take the remaining steps so sanctions could be lifted – by admitting responsibility for the bombing and paying compensation to families of victims. Libya has already committed itself to paying compensation, even in the eventuality of Al Megrahi being acquitted by the appeals jury.

Some relatives of the victims who died in the attack said the end of legal proceedings gave them some satisfaction, but the tragedy would continue to haunt them.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s ruling was severely criticised by one of five U.N. observers who followed the trial as part of the deal with Libya.

Hans Koechler described the ruling as a miscarriage of justice. “My impression is that justice was not done and that we are dealing here with a rather spectacular case of a miscarriage of justice,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.

“I am not convinced at all that the sequence of events that led to this explosion of the plane over Scotland was as described by the court. Everything that is presented is only circumstantial evidence,” he said.

Megrahi’s only avenue of appeal under the Scottish legal system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, and has a supervisory jurisdiction over constitutional matters within the UK.

Al Megrahi loses Lockerbie appeal written by Darrell Pace – 14 Mar, 2002

Five Scottish judges have refused the appeal of the Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi arguing that none of the grounds of his appeal were well-founded.

Al Megrahi in the courtroom Delivering a verdict almost a month after the jury finished hearing the appeal at the Scottish court in the Netherlands, the head of the jury, Lord Justice General Lord Cullen said “For the reasons given in the opinion, in which we all concur, we have concluded that none of the grounds of appeal is well-founded.

“The appeal will accordingly be refused. This brings proceedings to an end.” he concluded.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Megrahi is now set to be flown by helicopter to Scotland at a specially-built jail at a maximum security in Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow.

Relatives of the 270 victims of the tragedy were reported to be relieved at the ruling of the appeal judges. Megrahi, on the other hand remained straight-faced while his wife wept in the court.

Megrahi’s only avenue of appeal under the Scottish legal system is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which sits in London, and has a supervisory jurisdiction over constitutional matters within the UK.

Lawyers for former Libyan secret agent in the appeal had urged the judges to reject Megrahi’s guilty verdict. Their reasoning was based on evidence from six new witnesses during 14 days of hearings earlier this year. The defence claimed that the new evidence shows that the original guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice.

The appeal focused on two areas crucial to Megrahi’s conviction: where the bomb was originally loaded and evidence from a Maltese shopowner, Tony Gauci, who said he sold Megrahi clothes found wrapped round the suitcase bomb.

One of the new testimonies in the appeal came from a former security guard who said that he had found evidence of a break-in at London’s Heathrow airport the night before the tragedy. The testimony contradicted the crown’s original thesis that the bomb was first loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt.

Prosecutors, however, said the new evidence was “flawed and weak,” saying that an airport baggage worker eager to go home probably broke open a security door at Heathrow.

The appeal ruling effectively confirms that the bomb that destroyed the airliner did in fact leave from Malta.

Lockerbie appeal verdict set for 14th Marchwritten by Darrell Pace – 5 Mar, 2002

The destiny of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted last year for the Lockerbie bombing, will be revealed next Thursday when five Scottish judges will rule on the appeal of the former secret agent.

A trail jury made up of three Scottish Judges had found Megrahi guilty of placing the bomb that downed a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. 270 people perished in that disaster. He was then sentenced to life in prison, and must serve at least twenty years in a Scottish jail.

Scotland’s authorities said Tuesday said that the Scottish judges who heard the appeal will deliver their ruling on Thursday 14th March.

Lawyers for former Libyan secret agent have urged the judges to reject Megrahi’s guilty verdict. Their reasoning was based on evidence from six new witnesses during 14 days of hearings earlier this year. The defence claims that the new evidence shows that the original guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice.

The appeal focused on two areas crucial to Megrahi’s conviction: where the bomb was originally loaded and evidence from a Maltese shopowner, Tony Gauci, who said he sold Megrahi clothes found wrapped round the suitcase bomb.

One of the new testimonies in the appeal came from a former security guard who said that he had found evidence of a break-in at London’s Heathrow airport the night before the tragedy. The testimony contradicts the crown’s original thesis that the bomb was first loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt.

Prosecutors, however, said the new evidence was “flawed and weak,” saying that an airport baggage worker eager to go home probably broke open a security door at Heathrow.

Journalist says CIA drug line linked to Lockerbiewritten by Darrell Pace – 4 Mar, 2002

Scottish investigative journalist Ian Ferguson in an interview published in an Egyptian newspaper said that he believes that the running of the secret drug line operated between the Middle East and Europe in 1988 could be linked to the disaster.

Ferguson is the journalist who revealed that Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci had received free holidays to Scotland compliments of the Scottish police. He is one of the few journalists who are still coming up with new leads in the case.

Speaking to Al- Ahram Weekly Ferguson said that his investigations into the bombing have often come under fire since he started work into the case in 1991.

One such case was when he was probing an alleged secret drug line run by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1988 between the Middle East and Europe. Ferguson told Al-Ahram that when he was putting together a radio documentary about the Lockerbie bombing for American public broadcasting, his colleagues at the Washington desk pressured him to cut the part about the drug running. Meanwhile, he was also receiving threats. “I know I have been followed whilst making the documentary, and that telephone calls were intercepted,” he says. “When my wife phoned me in Switzerland, she heard a voice saying: ‘American wife of the journalist, we are watching you’.” Ferguson says the drug case and the threats are clearly linked. “Every time I got near something to do with that case, the threats would increase.”

In his book Cover-up of Convenience, which was released last year, Ferguson says that the Libyan defendant Abdel-Basset Al-Megrahi who is appealing his conviction for the attack, is not guilty. He believes that the two Libyans that the original two defendants of the trial were fall guys in a web of political intrigue.

In his interview with Al- Ahram Weekly Ferguson was also critical of the Scottish judges in the case, who he maintains never gave Al- Megrahi the benefit of the doubt. He dismisses the defence as “very weak,” and blames the defence team for not using his scoop about Gauci’s Scottish holiday to further their case.

His main frustration in Al-Megrahi’s conviction, however, is that the real culprits have been allowed to escape. “Justice will only be done when the real people responsible are caught and prosecuted. But the problem there is, the truth lies with the secret services, especially in the United States,” he said.

Libya will pay compensation to Lockerbie victims’ families written by MM News – 1 Mar, 2002

A son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been quoted saying that Libya agreed to pay compensation to families of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing victims even if the former Libyan agent convicted of the attack is acquitted on appeal.

Reuters quoted Seif el Islam in a news conference in Paris saying there was no link between the agent’s criminal trial and the civil case.

Seif el Islam said that Libyan government representatives were in talks with relatives of the 270 victims in the French capital but an agreement had not yet been reached and Libya was resisting demands for $4 billion.

Islam compared the reasoning to O.J. Simpson’s case during the press conference. The former American football star, was acquitted of murdering his estranged wife and her friend in a celebrated trial in 1995. But two years later a civil court ordered him to pay $33.5 million in compensation to the victims’ families.

“It is the law of the jungle,” Gaddafi’s son said. “It’s unfair but we have to be realistic and realize we are dealing with a superpower. It’s the United States not Malta.”

In an interview with newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published on Thursday, Seif el Islam said he expected talks to be wrapped up within five months but no payment would be made before a verdict had been reached on Megrahi’s appeal.

Lockerbie appeal ends written by MM News – 15 Feb, 2002

The Lockerbie appeal court on Thursday heard the last witnesses, bringing the appeal to an end. The witnesses were brought to the stand by the prosecution in an effort to counter a theory suggested by the defence that the bomb was put on flight Pan Am 103 in London, not Malta.

Defence lawyer William Taylor on Wednesday put a former security guard at Heathrow airport, and a superior, to testify that had found that a door leading to a baggage storage area had been opened, the night before the tragedy on December 20, 1988.

Taylor contends that the break-in shows the bomb could have been smuggled on board the New York-bound plane in London.

But prosecution witnesses on Thursday, however testified that airport staff at Heathrow occasionally forced open a door to a baggage area to take a shortcut, undermining the defence theory that the bomb was planted by an intruder at Heathrow.

The defence however says that the door carried no signs of kicking, indicating that it had been forced open. Guard Raymond Manly and his supervisor, Philip Radley, testified that the break-in looked like a professional job and had reported it to the police.

The five judges of the appeal have retired to decide on Abdelbasset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s fate.

New testimony heard in Lockerbie appeal written by Darrell Pace – 13 Feb, 2002

A new witness in the appeal of a Libyan found guilty of masterminding the Lockerbie bombing said that he found that a baggage store padlock had been “cut like butter” the night before the tragedy.

The five Scottish judges of the appeal started hearing the testimony of Ray Manly, a former Heathrow Airport security guard on Wednesday. Manly was called to the witness stand by the defence team of Abdelbasset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi in its efforts to prove that the bomb that downed the Pan Am airliner did not start its deadly journey in Malta, as the prosecution alleged in the trial.

Manly was on a night shift in Terminal 3 on the night of 20/21 December 1988. In his testimony, he told the Scottish Court in the Netherlands that the doors separating landside from airside were unmanned at night after they had been locked. He noticed that one of the padlocks was broken during one of his rounds.

“The padlock was on the floor. In my opinion it was as if it had been cut like butter – very professional,” Manly told the judges. The court was also shown Mr Manly’s security report, written soon after the incident in which he described the break-in as “a very deliberate act, leaving easy access to airside”. Manly was only interviewed by anti-terrorist squad police officers about the incident the following January, after the Lockerbie disaster.

Philip Radley, a superior of Manly at the time also took to the stand on Wednesday. He said that the doors were secured by a 4ft long iron bar and a heavy-duty padlock and security guards were on duty on each side.

Megrahi’s defence asks for admission of new evidence

Lawyers defending Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of masterminding the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over the Scottish town on Lockerbie in 1988 has asked an appeals court to admit new evidence showing that lax security at Heathrow airport could have allowed the bomb to be loaded onto the aircraft from there.

The new evidence comes in the form of an affidavit by a former security guard at Heathrow airport who found that a gate leading to a luggage depot had been forced on December 21, 1988 – the night of the tragedy. The guard, Ray Manly had never testified in the trial. He had been interviewed by the police a month after the bombing but his testimony was not pursued further and Megrahi’s defence only came to know about the testimony after the conviction last year.

The five appeal judges will rule on the defence’s request to admit the new evidence on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, defence attorney William Taylor on Thursday continued dissecting the trial’s written verdict. He told the court said that the crucial testimony of Paul Gauci, the brother of shopkeeper Tony Gauci could have shed further light on the date when Megrahi allegedly made the purchase of clothes from Mary’s House. The defence lawyer however said that Paul Gauci’s testimony was never heard by the court. Taylor also argued that the accomplice required by Megrahi to load the luggage carrying the bomb onto an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt was never identified by the prosecution.

The denial of Tony Gauci’s testimony, the tearing down of the theory that the bomb left from Malta and the admission of the new evidence are the three main arguments of the defence in this appeal.

The court has adjourned till Tuesday.

Lawyer says Gauci’s identification of Megrahi was prejudiced

The accuracy of the testimony of Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci that weighed heavily on the Lockerbie verdict – finding a Libyan guilty of bombing a Pan Am airliner in 1988 continued to be the focal point when the appeal of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi continued on Monday.

Attorney William Taylor this time claimed that Tony Gauci’s identification of Megrahi as the Libyan who had bought clothes from his shop was unreliable because the witness was prejudiced after seeing a picture of the Libyan in a magazine. The defence argues that Gauci had seen the photograph and read the article claiming that Megrahi was a main suspect. This, the defence says, led Gauci to single out the Libyan from a line up in April 1999, more than ten years after the bombing. Taylor also pointed out that there were discrepancies in Guaci’s earlier statements to police regarding Megrahi’s height and age.

Meanwhile, the British media gave more fuel to the theory that Megrahi was being framed on Sunday when a report claimed that Gauci had been taken to Lockerbie to be shown the damage caused by the mid-air explosion of Pan Am flight 103 by the Scottish police. The allegation caused uproar in the British Parliament with MP Tam Dalyell saying that he wanted the government to respond to the claim.

Megrahi’s defence continues to dissect Gauci’s testimony

Lawyers defending the Libyan convicted for the Lockerbie bombing during his appeal continued dissecting the testimony of Maltese shop owner, Tony Gauci, during the trial in a bid to show that the presiding judges of the trial had ignored contradictory evidence in the testimony.

Gauci had identified Megrahi as the Libyan who bought clothes from his shop, Mary’s House in Sliema, that are thought to have been placed around the bomb that downed Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988. It was the only witness account directly linking the Megrahi to the contents of the suitcase where the bomb was packed. Gauci, however, could not pinpoint the exact date when the purchase had been made.

Defence attorney William Taylor on Friday – the third day of the appeal – went to great lengths to explain that Gauci during his testimony had indicated two dates. Gauci had testified he sold the clothing about one week before the Dec. 21, 1988, attack, when Megrahi was known to be in Malta. Taylor cited ambiguities in Gauci’s account about the exact date when a man resembling al-Megrahi was in the shop, contradicting himself on whether Christmas decorations were already up. He said that the court should have recorded the contradiction instead of ignoring one of the versions.

Taylor also questioned the credibility of Gauci’s identification of al-Megrahi from a photograph he was shown more than two years after the purchase, which did not match the description of the buyer that he gave investigators earlier. (MM)

Maltese shop owner’s testimony rebuffed by Megrahi’s defence

The testimony of Maltese shop owner, Tony Gauci, during the Lockerbie trial last year took centre-stage during the second day of the appeal of Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi. Gauci, who ran the shop Mary’s House in Sliema at the time, had identified Megrahi as the person bought garments that were packed around the bomb that downed a Pan Am aircraft over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 killing 270 people.

William Taylor – one of the lawyers defending Megrahi – on Thursday quoted the written judgement of the judges who had found Megrahi guilty of the bombing saying that the judgement read that Gauci’s identification of Megrahi was “not unequivocal” and was reliable “so far as it went.” The defence also said that the court was in error when saying that the same clothes were bought on December 7, 1988. Taylor said that that the trial judges’ guilty verdict was weighted upon these two elements.

Lockerbie appeal begins

The Lockerbie tragedy which left 270 people dead after a Pan Am Boeing 747 airliner exploded in mid-air over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 took the world’s news centre-stage on Wednesday as a panel of five Scottish judges started hearing an appeal of a Libyan that was convicted for the bombing last year.

The appeal started exactly at 10:10 CET. The defence and prosecution addressed the panel of judges about which way they deemed fit for the appeal to proceed.

The defence team then submitted a nine-page document detailing the grounds of the appeal. William Taylor, one of Megrahi’s lawyers told the five appeal judges he intended to show that the trial judges had effectively misdirected themselves as jurors and led to a miscarriage of justice. He said that he would be questioning the trial judges’ written verdict and proposed bringing in fresh evidence that will cast doubt on Megrahi’s conviction. Taylor argued that the evidence had not been available at the time of the trial and brought several examples from cases handled by the Scottish juduciary when new evidence was allowed in an appeal. Alan Turnbull QC, for the Crown, on the other hand, argued that the evidence was not sufficient to justify being heard in the appeal.

The fresh evidence that the defence will try to introduce could clear Abdel Basset al-Megrahi’s name and – more importantly for Malta – prove that the suitcase carrying the bomb did not start its deadly journey on a Frankfurt-bound Air Malta flight from Luqa.

Should the court approve the admission of the new evidence, the defence will be intent on proving that the suitcase was first loaded at Heathrow airport, from where the Pan Am flight departed. The defence’s case will almost certainly revolve around the testimony of a security guard at Heathrow who claims that a luggage bay had been broken into that same night of the bombing. The guard had only come forward with his testimony in March 2001, only after the Scottish judges of the nine-month trial had found Megrahi guilty.

Two weeks ago, the Court that will hear the appeal led by Scotland’s top judge – Lord Cullen – gave the go-ahead for its broadcast on the internet. The British Broadcasting Corporation started live coverage of the appeal on its website at 9:00 GMT (10:00 CET) on Wednesday. (MM) [Wed 23/1/02 - 16:21:01 CET]

Convicted Lockerbie bomber owes thousands of Pounds to lawyers

The Lockerbie tragedy which left 270 people dead after a Pan Am Boeing 747 airliner exploded in mid-air over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 took the world’s news centre-stage on Wednesday as a panel of five Scottish judges started hearing an appeal of a Libyan that was convicted for the bombing last year.

The appeal started exactly at 10:10 CET. The defence and prosecution addressed the panel of judges about which way they deemed fit for the appeal to proceed.

The defence team then submitted a nine-page document detailing the grounds of the appeal. William Taylor, one of Megrahi’s lawyers told the five appeal judges he intended to show that the trial judges had effectively misdirected themselves as jurors and led to a miscarriage of justice. He said that he would be questioning the trial judges’ written verdict and proposed bringing in fresh evidence that will cast doubt on Megrahi’s conviction. Taylor argued that the evidence had not been available at the time of the trial and brought several examples from cases handled by the Scottish juduciary when new evidence was allowed in an appeal. Alan Turnbull QC, for the Crown, on the other hand, argued that the evidence was not sufficient to justify being heard in the appeal.

The fresh evidence that the defence will try to introduce could clear Abdel Basset al-Megrahi’s name and – more importantly for Malta – prove that the suitcase carrying the bomb did not start its deadly journey on a Frankfurt-bound Air Malta flight from Luqa.

Should the court approve the admission of the new evidence, the defence will be intent on proving that the suitcase was first loaded at Heathrow airport, from where the Pan Am flight departed. The defence’s case will almost certainly revolve around the testimony of a security guard at Heathrow who claims that a luggage bay had been broken into that same night of the bombing. The guard had only come forward with his testimony in March 2001, only after the Scottish judges of the nine-month trial had found Megrahi guilty.

Two weeks ago, the Court that will hear the appeal led by Scotland’s top judge – Lord Cullen – gave the go-ahead for its broadcast on the internet. The British Broadcasting Corporation started live coverage of the appeal on its website at 9:00 GMT (10:00 CET) on Wednesday. (MM) [Tue 22/1/02 - 10:06:13 CET]

Lockerbie appeal to be heard in January

The Libyan convicted for being the hand behind the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 will have an appeal against his conviction heard as from January next year.

A Scottish Appeals Court meeting in the Netherlands, where the trial first took place has given Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi’s counsel four weeks to lodge the outlines of its arguments. The defence team is claiming that it will be presenting a barrage of new evidence during the appeal.

The prosecution side has also been given four weeks to present counter arguments. The Camp Zeist court will begin to hear the case on 23 January.
(MM) [Tue 16/10/01 - 00:14:14 CET]

New twist to Lockerbie case as relatives and friends re-live tragedy

A former security guard at Heathrow airport says he discovered a break-in at a Pan Am baggage facility early on the day that 270 people died in the bombing of a New York-bound jumbo jet, the English newspaper The Mirror reported.

This revelation came as friends and relatives of the victims of the Pan Am tragedy were shocked at the extent of the loss of life on Tuesday and had to relive the deaths of their loved ones almost 13 years ago.

Ray Manly, 63, was quoted as saying he was surprised the incident was not mentioned during the trial of two Libyans for the bombing, Manly’s statement suggested the possibility that the bomb was sneaked into a luggage area in London.

The trial found Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, guilty of the bombing that killed 270 people on board Pan AM flight 103 and on the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. A co-defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, manager of the Libyan Arab Airlines station in Malta, was acquitted

The Scottish Office, the government executive office in Scotland, said that it could not comment on the report because an appeal by Al Megrahi is pending. The hearing will start on the 15th October. (MM) [Thur 13/9/01 - 15:02:59 CET]

Details of Lockerbie appeal revealed

The team of top-notch lawyers who are representing a Libyan convicted for planting the bomb that downed Pan Am Flight 103 have revealed details of an appeal they intend to file in October.

Miami attorney Frank Rubino said he and the other lawyers defending Abdel Basset al-Megrahi will focus on security issues at the airports of Frankfurt and Malta, to determine whether the suitcase with the bomb inside it had started its journey from Luqa Airport. The appeal will also allege that the court took into consideration only part of the testimony of Tony Gauci, the Maltese merchant who said he sold clothes that were packed inside the suitcase with the bomb to Megrahi from the outlet Mary’s House in Sliema.

A Scottish court in January had convicted Megrahi of the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The bomb exploded over Lockerbie 33 minutes after the Boeing 747 left Heathrow for New York.

Rubino said the appeal would be filed at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, the site were the original trial was held. (MM) [Tue 28/8/01 - 15:55:31 CET]

Law professor has doubts about Lockerbie verdict

International reports say that Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz, hired to help in an appeal, said that he has doubts about the conviction of a Libyan intelligence agent in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Malta features prominently in the trial as the prosecution insisted that the bomb that brought down the flight originated from Malta.

Dershowitz said he has been hired as a consultant by a British law firm for an appeal on behalf of Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Scottish court last January. Al Megrahi was found guilty of masterminding the bombing from Malta.

The Scottish Court, sitting in the Netherlands, acquitted co-defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, a Libyan Arab Airlines official, of all charges in the bombing that killed 270 people.

Dershowitz said he has questions about the reliability of an eyewitness account that alleged that Megrahi bought incriminating items of clothing in Malta two weeks before the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. He said he fears “that the wrong person may well have been convicted of the crime.”
(MM) [Fri 10/8/01 - 14:33:54 CET]

Maltese witnesses intimidated in Lockerbie trial

Journalist Joe MifsudMaltese journalist Joe Mifsud revealed that Maltese witnesses in the Lockerbie trial were intimidated by the prosecution before giving their witness during the trial in Camp Zeist, the Netherlands.

He was speaking during the first edition of the new current affairs programme Wara l-Ahbar (After the News), broadcast every Monday at 1800 CET on ir-Radju ta’ l-Universita’ and webcast on MaltaMedia.

Joe Mifsud, the Maltese journalist who took most interest in the case for many years, said the judges were wrong in giving a guilty verdict to Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, blaming him for the bombing that left 270 people dead in 1988. He also said that Malta has been cleared of all suspicion in the case. He said that the other Libyan acquitted in the verdict, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, sent in a letter where he expressed his appreciation for the support shown by the Maltese who always believed in his innocence, and expressed his wish to come back to Malta among friends, where he worked for many years as station manager for Libyan Arab Airlines. [Tue 06/2/01 - 00:43:17 CET]

One Libyan convicted, one acquitted in Lockerbie trial

The 3 judges in the Lockerbie trial sentenced Abdel Baset Al Megrahi to life in prison after finding him unanimously guilty of the 1988 Pan Am jet bombing that left 270 people dead. A second defendant int the case Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah was found unanimously not guilty of the same charge. Al Megrahi was put on trial under Scottish law in a Scottish court set up at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. Fhimah is a free man and is expected to be flown back to his home country in United Nations plane this afternoon.

The verdict was delivered on Wednesday at 1100 CET while Al Megrahi’s sentence was given at 1400 CET. Megrahi must serve at least 20 years in prison to be eligible for parole. His lawyers have already appealed the case but this could take as long as year before it gets underway. Megrahi was chief security officer for Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport at the time of the bombing.

Meanwhile, the full verdict has been put online here . In it the judges state that the prosecutors have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the suitcase that contained the bomb had t-shirts bought in Malta in it and that the person who bought those garments was a Libyan.

Interviewed on U.S. TV channel CNN International, the Libyan Ambassador to the U.N., Abduzed Dorda, said his country was shocked by the verdict but will respect it. He denied the involvement of the Libyan government in the case and said that the prosecutors did not venture into those grounds because they could not prove it.

The United States said that the verdict does not mean the end of sanctions against Libya. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that now that justice has been done, the British Government expects Libya to pay compensation to the victims. The U.S. Deputy Attorney General said that the investigations into the case are now set to continue to find who was really behind the bombing. (MM) [Wed 31/1/01 - 21:04:20 CET]

“No evidence that bomb in Lockerbie tragedy came from Malta” – defence lawyer

A defence lawyer in the Lockerbie Trial on Thursday attacked the prosecution’s case against two Libyans and insisted that there is no evidence that the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988 was made in Malta and then transferred to Frankfurt where it boarded the fatal flight. Instead, it suggested that Palestinian extremists could have staged the bombing that killed 270 people.

Reuters reports that as the eight-month-old trial drew to an end, the defence sought to convince judges that the prosecution case was too leaky to prove Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima had committed mass murder and should be jailed for life.

Megrahi’s lawyer William Taylor said there was no proof his client was a member of Libyan intelligence services at the time of the bombing. Instead it was the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the lesser-known Palestinian Popular Struggle Front that masterminded and executed the bombing.

Reuters says that Taylor challenged the prosecution’s key contention that a suitcase containing an improvised bomb was placed on a Frankfurt-bound plane at Malta’s Luqa airport, insisted that the prosecution failed to prove the bomb got on at Luqa airport.

The defence need prove nothing; it need only sow “sufficient doubt” in judges’ minds. The onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in the Scots law under which the pair is being tried. (MM) [Thur 11/1/01 - 23:18:30 CET]

Key witness finally appears in Lockerbie trial

A Palestinian terrorist began his testimony Friday in the trial of two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, describing his role in attacks against Israel in the 1970s. Mohammed Abu Talb, whose appearance at the special Scottish court had been delayed for weeks, testified for the prosecution. He was called in an effort to discredit the defendants’ claim that the group he led, the Palestine Popular Struggle Front, played a role in the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Abu Talb, has been jailed in Sweden for attacks against Jewish and American targets in Europe. He has denied any involvement in the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 people.

Evidence presented at the trial, including passports and travel documents, showed Talb had been in Malta in October 1988. But stamps on his Swedish travel documents showed he had left Malta on Oct. 26 that year. Although he had bought a return ticket, he claimed that was cheaper than a one-way ticket and he had no intention of returning.

Defendants Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah blame Abu Talb and other Palestinians for the 1988 attack. However prosecutors say the two defendants, who are alleged to be Libyan secret agents, sent a suitcase from the Mediterranean island of Malta carrying an explosives-laden cassette recorder and routed it through Frankfurt, Germany, to the doomed airliner in London. (MM) [Sat 11/11/00 - 15:16:33 CET]

Another death in the Lockerbie Case: Prof. John Buontempo

Prof. John Buontempo, former ambassador to Jordan, Syria and the Arab League, and one of the protagonists of the Lockerbie case, passed away on Thursday in Camp Zeist, The Netherlands, while attending the trial with his wife. He was 69. He tried, single-handed and without official backing from Malta, to bring the trial to be held in Malta. Although he did not succeed in his mission, his efforts contributed to the commencement of the trial in a Scottish court set-up in a former military base in the Netherlands. He was a physician by profession. His body will be brought to Malta for burial. (MM) [Fri 06/10/00 - 12:08:22 CET]

Maltese airport official testifies in Lockerbie case

Sign pointing towards the Scottish court in the NetherlandsA Maltese airport official admitted that airliners leaving Malta may have routinely carried bags whose owners were unknown, reinforcing prosecutors’ contention that the suitcase bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 came from an Air Malta jet. The two Libyans charged with the murder of 259 people on board the Pan Am airliner and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland, worked in the Libyan Arab Airlines offices in Malta. Prosecutors claim that on the morning of the Dec. 21, 1988, explosion, the defendants planted an unaccompanied suitcase with the bomb on Air Malta Flight KM 180 to Frankfurt, Germany. They say the suitcase was transferred there onto a feeder flight connecting with New York-bound Flight 103 at Heathrow airport in London. Wilfred Borg, general manager for ground operations, appeared testy and defensive as the Scottish prosecutor Alan Turnbull pressed him on baggage security procedures at Malta’s Luqa Airport . AirMalta had always denied that the suitcase with the bomb left from Malta on board its flight to Frankfurt, were the suitcase was eventually loaded on the Pan AM flight. (MM) [Sat 15/7/00 - 15:10:16 CET]

Lockerbie trial adjourned for three weeks

The appearance of a key witness in the Lockerbie trial has been delayed by a further three weeks after judges suspended the trial on Thursday, ordering its resumption on September 21st. Reuters reports that the adjournment, to let U.S. intelligence services CIA dig up any further information on the witness, was the latest delay in the 48-day-old trial of Libyans Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima and Abdel Basset al-Megrahi at the former U.S. airbase in the Netherlands.
The judges conceded that the final and most important witness so far, Abdul Majid Giaka, could not testify until the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had confirmed that all relevant material about him in its archives had been handed over. This includes cables of CIA agents in Malta about Giaka’s defection to the U.S. He is central to the prosecution claim that the two accused posed as employees of Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) in Malta to place a suitcase containing a bomb hidden in a Toshiba cassette recorder on an aircraft bound for Frankfurt. The prosecution maintains the bomb was transferred onto a London-bound flight and then onto Pan Am Flight 103 that blew up over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people. Majid, who worked with the two accused at LAA, is expected to provide vital testimony, directly linking them (MM) [Fri 01/9/00 - 00:37:22 CET]

Witness says Libyan suspect dealt with timer firm

The owner of a firm that made the timing device said to have been used in the Lockerbie bombing identified one of the Libyan accused as someone he had done business with. Reuters and Associated Press report that Irwin Meister, co-owner of Swiss company Mebo Ltd , told the murder trial of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima that he recognized al-Megrahi from business dealings that took place in Libya and Zurich prior to the bombing. Pan Am flight 103 exploded as it flew over Lockerbie, Scotland in December, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground. The Swiss said that he received an urgent order for 40 timers just days before the 1988 explosion. Meanwhile, the CBS News program 60 Minutes isn’t backing down from its story about a self-described Iranian terrorist czar, even as the CIA and FBI reportedly brand him a liar. The Iranian defector claimed that he had coordinated Iran’s overseas assassinations and terrorist operations. The man, who identified himself as Ahmad Behbahani, said it was Iran that blew up Pam Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. But after interviews conducted by intelligence officials, the CIA and FBI concluded the man lied and lacked basic knowledge of Iran’s intelligence apparatus. (MM) [Sat 17/6/00 - 16:46:42 CET]

Explosion in cargo container brought down flight over Lockerbie

An explosion tore through a cargo container aboard the Pan Am jumbo jet that disintegrated over Scotland in 1988, an air accident investigator told the Lockerbie trial Tuesday. Pieces of the container, with blue Pan Am insignia on its mangled side panels, were exhibited in court. Reuters reports that British accident investigator Peter Claydon testified that a “high energy” blast occurred within the container, supporting prosecutors’ allegations that a bomb hidden in a suitcase brought down the plane on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 on the ground in the Scottish town of Lockerbie. They accuse Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima of hiding an improvised bomb in an unaccompanied brown Samsonite suitcase which originated in Malta, where they were working for Libyan Arab Airlines. The floor of container AVE 400 was cratered but not blackened, so the bomb was probably in a suitcase sitting on top of another one, Claydon added. (MM) [Tue 30/5/00 - 23:08:48 CET]

Iran could be behind Lockerbie disaster

CBS 60 minutesA TV program which aired on Sunday in the United States revealed details about the alleged involvement of the Iranian government in the Lockerbie disaster. The CBS current affairs program 60 minutes carried a report about an Iranian intelligence service defector who says that the bombing of a Pan Am aircraft over Scotland was devised by Iran to take revenge on the United States after U.S. Navy vessel accidentally shot down an Iranian Airbus in July 1988, killing 290. Prosecutors in the case being heard in a Scottish court in the Netherlands claim that two Libyans placed a bomb on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt bomb that eventually found its way onto the doomed Boeing 747. The defector, Ahmad Behbahani, says he has documents in his possession that prove that his Islamic fundamentalist country and not Libya was behind the bombing. (MM) [Mon 05/6/00 - 01:32:30 CET]

Lockerbie bomb was allegedly wrapped in clothing bought from Maltese shop

The two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing that killed all 259 people aboard the New York-bound plane and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, allegedly stuffed the suitcase holding the bomb with clothing bought from a shop in Sliema, Malta, called Mary’s House. Reuters reports that another witness in the Lockerbie case, a man who worked for a clothes manufacturer in Malta, identified fabric scraps found in the blast debris as coming from his factory and from a clothing distributor who sold shirts similar to the fragments to Mary’s House. Almost a month has passed since the start of the trial of the two Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima accused of the bombing of the Pan Am plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. The prosecution says the pair were intelligence agents who posed as employees of Libyan Arab Airlines and put a bomb in an unaccompanied suitcase in Malta that eventually was loaded onto Flight 103 in London. The defense is expected to argue that Palestinian extremists operating in Frankfurt were responsible for putting the bomb on board. Malta has always denied the allegation that the bomb was transported from Malta to Frankfurt on an AirMalta flight. (MM) [Fri 03/6/00 - 23:30:30 CET]

Expert explains Lockerbie report error

The reconstructed wreckage of the Pan Am Boeing 747On Thursday a British air accident investigator told the trial of two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing that there was a mathematical error in the official report on the disaster. Christopher Protheroe said a complex formula used to calculate blast wave effects after the explosion had been incorrectly applied in the 1990 Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report. This could mean that the bomb which destroyed the Pan Am plane 12 years ago went off only 12 inches away from the fuselage skin rather than the 25 inches which were originally calculated. The prosecution alleges that Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima planted a bomb in a suitcase in Malta. However, Protheroe’s witness shows that the bomb might not have left Malta, as it is being alleged, since the indications now show that the bomb exploded on the aeroplane and not in a luggage container. As such this development continued to cast a dark shadow on the two Libyans accused of the bombing. (MM) [Thur 25/5/00 - 22:31:08 CET]

Lockerbie trial postponed again after technical glitches

Technical glitches in the courtroom Tuesday forced the adjournment for 24 hours of the trial of two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing. Reuters reports that the trial at a former U.S. airbase in the Netherlands was to have resumed after a 12-day adjournment called by the prosecution. Proceedings were scheduled to resume on early Tuesday morning but a problem was discovered in the system used by court stenographers in the courtroom. Chief prosecutor Colin Boyd adjourned the trial until Wednesday morning. Libyans Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima have been on trial since May 3. (MM) [Tue 23/5/00 - 15:25:30 CET]

Lockerbie trial adjourned until May 23 According to Reuters services, the judges sitting on the Lockerbie trial agreed to adjourn the examination until May 23 after prosecutors and defence lawyers hammered out an agreement on certain evidence from the crash of the Pan Am jumbo jet in 1988. It was the prosecutor Alastair Campbell who requested the adjournment saying more time was needed to interview expert defence witnesses. According to legal experts, this means that the prosecutors could skip more than 100 witnesses, cutting up to seven weeks of testimony dealing mostly with the debris that was scattered over 845 square miles of southern Scotland and northern England by the explosion. As a result, the trial, which was expected to run over a year, could end after six months. Relatives of crash victims, who waited more than a decade for the trial to begin on May 3, said they understood the reasons for the adjournment. Many Maltese citizens were summoned to testify in the case. (MM) [Fri 12/5/00 - 13:24:25 CET]

Lights turned on Malta as the Lockerbie trial starts

The Courtroom in Camp ZeistAbdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, the two Libyans who are facing the trial for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 which left 270 people dead, said the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) were responsible. The trial has just started in Camp Zeist in the Netherlands after years of legal contrivances. The Maltese authorities in particular will be interested in the outcome of the trial as the lights are turned onto Malta and its airport. It is alleged that the plan which later led to the crash was masterminded in the Malta, and that the bomb passed through the local airport in Luqa and loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt where the bomb was transferred later on the Pan Am flight. Two of the best Maltese defence lawyers, Dr Giannella Caruana Curran and Dr Emmanuel Mallia, are forming part of the defence team of the accused. Former judge Godwin Muscat Azzopardi is defending the interests of Air Malta. Malta has always denied these allegations. (MM) [Wed 03/5/00 - 22:42:32 CET]

Lockerbie trial to start on May 3rd

The trial of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, will start as planned next Wednesday after a Scottish judge on Thursday rejected prosecution requests for a two-month delay. Prosecutors wanted the delay so as to have time to assess many witnesses and other evidence, which the defence revealed it, would use. At the pre-trial hearing at Camp Zeist, defence lawyers for the two accused Libyans revealed plans to try to prove that others were responsible for the bombing of a Boeing 747 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie which killed 270 people. The two accused were in court for the hearing. (MM) [Fri 28/4/00 - 00:57:47 CET]

No TV of Lockerbie Trial

According to Reuters services, a Scottish court on Tuesday rejected the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) bid to televise the trial of two Libyans charged with bombing a Pan Am jumbo jet in 1988. “In my opinion the petitioners have failed to demonstrate that televising the proceedings would entail no risk to the administration of justice,” Lord MacFadyen, a Scottish High Court judge, said in a written ruling. MacFadyen later rejected the BBC’s request to appeal the decision to a three-judge panel. The BBC Scotland has shown its disappointment and has already stated that it will consult with lawyers about further steps. Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah pleaded innocent to charges including murder and conspiracy to murder in the bombing of the airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988. The attack killed 259 passengers and crew — including 189 Americans — and 11 people on the ground. Allegedly the bomb used in the operation passed through the Maltese jurisdiction. Libya agreed to hand the two men over for trial only after an agreement that the case would be heard in the Netherlands. (MM) [Wed 08/3/00 - 15:45:05 CET]

Scottish top prosecutor to meet relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims

Scotland’s top prosecutor will meet families of American victims of the Lockerbie bombing on Saturday to assure them that his predecessor’s resignation will not affect the upcoming trial, officials said. Reuters reports that Lord Advocate Colin Boyd has said the resignation of Lord Andrew Hardie on February 16 would not hurt Britain’s case against two Libyans charged with the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am aircraft that killed 270 people — most of them Americans. Boyd was due to meet relatives in Boston on Saturday, moving on to visit Washington families on Monday. He was also expected to meet U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to brief her on the case. (MM) [Sat 04/3/00 - 19:07:49 CET]

Lockerbie suspects enter no guilty pleas in pre-trial hearing

The two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 killing 270 people – 259 on the plane and 11 on the ground – pleaded not guilty at a pre-trial hearing in the High Court in Edinburgh, Scotland. This left the way for a full trial of the two suspects on May 3 in the Netherlands. (MM) [Thur 03/2/00 - 17:29:02 CET]

Malta sent back to Britain parts for Scud Missiles destined for Libya

Scud missileThe Maltese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it intercepted a consignment of Scud missile parts destined for Libya in April and sent them back to Britain several months later. Reuters reports that a spokesman for the Maltese Ministry confirmed to the news agency the reports which said that consignment landed in Malta from London’s Gatwick airport. The cargo of 32 crates was inspected on the island after suspicions it contained weapons equipment. They were subsequently confiscated and returned to London, where they were discovered to be Scud parts. An official for the British Foreign Office on Monday told Reuters that suspicions were first roused in April 1999, but he said the issue was not raised with Libyan officials during talks to end the 15-year diplomatic break between the two countries because Britain “did not want to prejudice the inquiry.” Formal seizure of the shipment took place in November 1999, and the whole story was uncovered last Sunday on the Sunday Times of London. Malta served as a main transit point for Libyan travellers and cargo when Tripoli airport was closed during years of international sanctions against Libya over the Lockerbie case. Export of missiles to Libya is illegal under a European Union arms embargo and an international treaty against the proliferation of ballistic missiles. Scuds are short-range, road-mobile, ballistic missiles that can carry chemical, biological or nuclear warheads in addition to traditional explosive payloads. This is not the first time Malta is mentioned as a transit point for smuggling of arms in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. (MM) [Tue 11/1/00 - 21:52:47 CET]

Maltese-born pathologist receives honours

Professor Anthony Busuttil, a Maltese-born pathologist was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at Buckingham Palace in London, England. Professor Busuttil had earlier been awarded the National Order of Merit during last December’s Republic Day activities in Malta. Professor Busuttil has worked on many cases including Lockerbie and the massacre at Dunblane Scotland. The two Libyan suspects in Lockerbie bombing, which left 279 people dead, are currently undergoing a trail in Holland. (MM) [Mon 17/1/00 - 14:08:42 CET]

Lockerbie prosecution dealt another blow

British prosecutors in the case over the bombing of the Pan-Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, have suffered yet another setback after a key witness apparently changed his side of the story. Reuters cited the Scottish newspaper Scotland on Sunday which quoted sources close to the case as saying that Abu Maged Jiacha, whose witness is crucial for the prosecutors’ theory, had changed parts of his story when he was interviewed recently by defence attorneys. Jiacha is now saying that he has seen one of the accused removing a suitcase from a luggage carousel, not loading it on, at Luqa Airport in Malta. The prosecution’s charges so far stated that the bomb which downed the aircraft was loaded on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt by the two suspects, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima. The bomb eventually made it to the Pan-Am aircraft through London. The key witness’s reconsideration practically nullifies the prosecution’s hypothesis. (MM) [Sun 23/1/00 - 22:18:50 CET]

First public appearance for the Libyans accused in Lockerbie case

On Tuesday, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, made their first public appearance in the Lockerbie case. The two are accused of masterminding the explosion on board Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie on December 21sy, 1988. All 289 people aboard, mostly Americans, were killed along with 11 people on the ground. The bomb that caused the explosion was allegedly manufactured in Malta and transferred on the Pan Am flight in Frankfurt airport in Germany. The lawyers for the Libyans accused of the bombing asked the special Scottish court hearing the case in the Netherlands to delete an indictment for conspiracy to murder and omit references to Libya’s intelligence service. Several localities in Malta, related to the movements of the Libyans before the bombing, were mentioned in the indictment. (MM)[Tue 07/12/99 - 23:15:20 CET]

Lockerbie trial start postponed

The start of the trial in the case of the Lockerbie bombing has been postponed for three months, as requested by the defence, and a hearing has now been set for May 3rd 2000. However, Scottish judge Ranald Sutherland dismissed a defence motion calling for the dismissal of the conspiracy charge against the two Libyans accused of masterminding and executing the Lockerbie bombing. The judge said that he was satisfied that on the basis of what is set out in charge one (the conspiracy charge) the Scottish courts do have jurisdiction. The defence counsel of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima had argued the charge should not be brought. (MM)[Thur 09/12/99 - 13:10:03 CET]

Malta mentioned in Lockerbie bombing indictment

Malta was mentioned extensively in the indictment against the two Libyans accused of the bombing of a Pan Am Boeing 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 passengers. The two Libyans were accused of placing a suitcase containing explosives on a flight departing Malta, which were then transferred on the Pan Am flight. Several localities in Malta, related to the movements of the Libyans before the bombing, were mentioned in the indictment. (MM)[Sun 31/10/99 - 17:31:46 CET]


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